The Steelers made a roster move today ahead of Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field.
L.J. Fort was activated from the practice squad, and fellow linebacker Steven Johnson was released.
Fort, who made the Steelers’ 53-man roster to start the season, was released on Sept. 12 and signed to the practice squad the following day. Fort played in the season opener against the Cleveland Browns on Sept. 10, and had two special teams tackles.
Fort played in 14 games in 2016, finishing with two special teams tackles. He also played in two postseason games.
Fort, who entered the NFL in 2012 as an undrafted rookie free agent, has battled and overcome the ups and downs of life in the NFL.
He spent his first season with the Browns, but was released prior to the 2013 season, spending the year out of football. The Denver Broncos signed him after the 2013 season, but he was released during training camp, before the 2014 season kicked in. He was added, and not long after released from the Seattle Seahawks practice squad that season, and then signed to the Cincinnati Bengals practice squad a few weeks later. He was released by the Bengals during the 2015 offseason, signed by the New England Patriots during training camp, and then released again. Fort was then claimed off of waivers by the Steelers. Fort was released prior to the start of the 2015 season, but spent the majority of the year on the practice squad, before being activated for the season-finale in 2015. He spent the majority of the 2016 season on the Steelers 53-man roster, being released on Nov. 12 and re-signed on Nov. 15.
Last offseason Fort talked about the ups and downs, and why he welcomed being with the Steelers.
“Everybody’s goal in the NFL is to be playing, but at the same time you’ve got to be grateful for what you have and be optimistic for the future,” said Fort. “My favorite thing about Pittsburgh is they pick from the guys they’re using and training on the practice squad when they have a need. They don’t go out and find other people. I love that about the team. You know you’re working to get on that 53-man roster. You’re not just working to hope for next year.”